Flood-stricken Philippines gets foreign aids-A A +A
Monday, August 13, 2012
THE European Union and the countries of Australia and Canada extended Monday financial help to support the Philippines' disaster relief efforts in the wake of the catastrophic southwest monsoon that hit the country last week.
Lubomir Frebort, charge d'affaires of the EU delegation to the Philippines, said the union has allocated 700,000 euros (P36 million) to help cover the cost of distributing relief goods to seven flood-stricken regions in the country.
Frebort said the European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response announced the release of aid following the report of the assessment team's visit to the affected areas.
"The funds will be used primarily for distribution of relief items, water and sanitation, debris clean-up, food assistance, shelter support and medical aid. Over 127,000 vulnerable people in need of urgent assistance are expected to directly benefit from this funding," Frebort said in a statement.
Last year, the European Commission provided €7.6 million of humanitarian assistance to families affected by Typhoons Pedring and Quiel and Tropical Storm Sendong.
An additional €3.55 million of humanitarian aid was provided in March 2012 to support the recovery efforts in Sendong-affected areas, making EU the largest humanitarian aid provider for victims of storm Sendong.
The European Commission has been supporting community-based affected disaster preparedness projects in the Philippines, allocating more than €5.6 million over the past six years.
Canada, through the Canadian International Development Agency (Cida), also said that it is giving a P2.1- million initial allocation to support relief operations for flood victims.
The funding will support the efforts of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the Philippine Red Cross to give sustainable food supply to affected areas, the Canadian embassy in Manila said.
Likewise, the Australian government granted AU$1 million (P43.8 million) to the Philippines through the United Nation's World Food Programme (WFP), to boost its contingency food stocks for enhanced disaster response capacity.
Australia's contribution, made through the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), will be used to dispatch rice to flood-affected people, augmenting the Philippine government’s relief response.
"WFP is grateful to the Government of Australia for this generous donation. WFP is actively supporting efforts of the government of the Philippines to prepare for and mitigate the effects of natural disasters at both national and local levels," said WFP Representative and Country Director Stephen Anderson.
"Learning from past emergency responses, establishing a strategic contingency stock of food to complement government efforts is both an efficient and cost-effective preparedness and response measure," he added.
WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Each year, on average, WFP feeds more than 90 million people in more than 70 countries.
The WFP contingency food stock in the Philippines will include 200 metric tons of fortified high-energy biscuits and 1,500 tons of rice, enough to support 320,000 people for two weeks. This contingency food stock will be distributed in direct coordination with WFP’s main government partner, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), which is also the lead government agency for emergency food response.
"The Australian Government is providing these items to the WFP so that they can be drawn upon immediately in serious situations, such as this massive flooding caused by continuous heavy rains for the past two weeks," Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Bill Tweddell said.
Tweddel said this assistance builds on the support Australia has already provided to the Philippines on disaster risk management and climate change adaptation, including hazard and risk analysis, integrating disaster and climate considerations in development and land use planning, community-based disaster preparedness and providing safer settlements. (JCV/Sunnex)